I’m sure you’ve seen videos of rivers flooded over their banks after a storm, rushing through streets and towns. The torrent of water is overwhelming. Everything that stands in the way of the might rush of water is simply swept away – cars, trees or houses. It is unstoppable and relentless. And while the human and physical destruction is tragic, this imagery reminded me of something the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“In all these things.” I think Paul was making a very simple point. There is a flow of love from the Father towards us – a flow of love based on the sacrifice of Christ. It is a flow of love that is constant and persistent. However, it appears there are situations or conditions that would attempt to block that flow of love. Some of these roadblocks may be thrown up by other people trying to do us physical damage – “tribulation, persecution, sword.” Some of these potential obstacles may be life conditions – “famine or nakedness. Some of these potential barriers may even be spiritual entities – “angels, rulers.” The point is that life happens. Sometimes it’s a hard and dangerous life. And when we are in the midst of these events is certainly seems that God has abandoned us. It seems that the promises of Scriptures or the comforting words of Christians are hollow. The devil seems more present and powerful that God Himself
But the significance of this passage is that no matter what life throws at us, the reality is that it has not and cannot stop the torrential love of God towards us. No barrier can withstand the driving love. The Father will move, overpower or crush any attempts at preventing His love from reaching us. There is no power or argument that can be made to stop it. That is terribly encouraging to me. It fills me with hope. It inspires perseverance. It causes me to look beyond my immediate circumstances and instead look for the tidal wave of affection moving my way. It enables me not only to conquer my fears but to be more; it enables me to “over-conquer.” I become a love-receiving and love-giving superhero.
I have heard some people say that this passage of Scripture does not apply to our own ability to separate ourselves from the love of God. To me this is the most vile and demonic lie ever. Remember that this is the love of God flowing from Him toward us. We will never stop that! If Christ already died for all the ugliness and sin in our lives, could there be anything else that would make us more unlovable? No! I believe that because He loves us, He will move our hearts and break down our walls until we get it. Don’t think that you are more powerful that God’s love. We are but tiny umbrellas in the face of an deluge of love. So put the umbrella away and let your self be swept away in that torrent.